Day 1: November 22, 2009
The Show
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These three photos are really day-before pictures but I've decided to slip them in here anyway. Virginians Wes Holt and his son Jason are among the many people heading to Springfield for Bob's show. They followed the Ohio River part of the way and I met them for breakfast in the river town of New Richmond. In the spring of 2008, Wes and wife, Dee, fulfilled a long time dream by driving the full length of Route 66. Yesterday, he and Jason visited Concord, Kentucky, where the first episode of the Route 66 TV show was filmed. Yeah, he's a Sixty-Six addict.

The second and third pictures show why I didn't head to Springfield on Saturday with Wes. On Saturday night, first rank guitarist Johnny A played for an audience of about 50 at Taffy's in Eaton, Ohio. Eaton is about ten miles from one of my favorite little motels on the National Road so I checked in to the Golden Inn and had dinner at nearby Baumbach's BBQ before driving to the excellent show.

I'd intended to jump right on I-70 in the morning but got an early enough start that I decided to stop by the tiny Paulee Diner in Richmond for breakfast. I probably knew but forgot that it isn't open on Sunday. Now that I was no longer on top of I-70, I stayed with the National Road a bit longer and had breakfast at the Sunshine Cafe. I've noticed it several times in passing but this was my first stop. A good experience with tasty and reasonably priced food.

I cut over to the expressway at Centerville and stuck with it to almost Springfield. Seeing that I had some extra time before the 2:00 art show, I diverted to a place long on my to do list, New Salem. The visitors center contains a small museum and offers a movie. Both provide background for the village. This is definitely the off season so the village isn't filled with docents and interpreters as it would be in the summer. But walking around the village on a warm fall day is quite nice and I was not alone. With the exception of the cooper shop on the left in the second picture, all structures in the village are reconstructions though they are on the original foundations where possible.

I arrived at the Cozy Dog a few minutes before 2:00. The smallish parking lot was filled and I parked with many others at the Walgreen's next door. There were some familiar faces in the gathering crowd and I got in a couple of hellos before the doors opened. Inside, Bob was still marking down prices as the room filled. Though it wasn't Bob's '65, there was a yellow Mustang out front and a cellist sat up by the side door. Bob greeted friends and friends greeted each other and everybody bought something. Some people bought a lot. To me, the event looked like a real success in many different ways.

I drove south a few miles to stay at Art's Motel in Farmersville. The Caddyshack Bar & Grill is nearby. They have Stag on tap and I decided to try a horseshoe. The horseshoe was "invented" in Springfield and variations have appeared over the years. I once tried the smaller ponyshoe in the breakfast version. Tonight I went for the real thing. A pair of hamburger patties -- fresh ground and flame grilled in this case -- are placed atop toasted bread then topped with enough french fries to build a small house and enough cheese sauce to serve as mortar. I managed most of the meat, about half of the bread, and somewhere between a fourth and a third of the fries and cheese. But now I know exactly what a horseshoe is.

Then it was back to Art's Motel with its recently (2007) renovated sign. Working neon would be cool but the bright paint looks marvelous. The rooms look pretty good, too. Here's mine. No frills and a little dated (Check out that confetti tile on the sink.) but clean and reasonably priced. Very reasonable. A single was $35 and I've heard a double is around $40. Frills? Who needs 'em. I like my internet but you can get that over at the Caddyshack along with a Stag beer in a frosted Stag mug. That's my kind of data center.

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